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The Kennedy Debutante

Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

"A riveting reimagining of a true tale of forbidden love." (People)

A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America's greatest political dynasties.

London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century's most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.

But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie - with family or with love....  

©2018 Kerri Maher (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“An engrossing tale of the importance of family, faith, and love in the life of one remarkable woman.” (Booklist)

"Maher’s assured debut, set against the backdrop of World War II, explores the life of JFK’s younger sister Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy.... This immersive, rich portrait of a complex young woman from one of the world’s most famous families will hold readers in thrall." (Publishers Weekly)

“Maher beautifully mixes the red-blooded American iconography of the Kennedys with the delicious and Downton Abbey-esque grandeur of Britain's upper crusts…[Kick] proves a poignant and captivating subject, and her story will make your heart lurch in the best possible ways." (Allison Pataki, New York Times best-selling author of The Accidental Empress)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

Winning combination...fact & fiction

Loved this part fiction part fact insight into the iconic Kennedy clan. Little is known of Kick and her association with the British aristocracy was of real interest. Beautifully read despite a slightly interesting Australian accent for one of the characters!!! Thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

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The Kennedy Debutant

Loved this book. Just want to go back to the beginning and listen to it all over again. Great narration added to the enjoyment.

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  • Rosemary
  • 06-10-18

Not just a piece of fluff!

This is a novelized biography of sorts of the adult life of Kathleen Kick Kennedy written by a novice with surprisingly good feel for the flow and forward movement of this romance story. She doesn't get everything right. Her lack of familiarity with the jargon of the day made me wince. "Party Foul" and "Listen Up" are 21st century language. Her descriptive words are cliches and she needs to have a good editor in her next book. Not brilliant as it might have been in the hands of a better writer but nonetheless, a commendable story choice and good research. I recommend this as I am a reader of non-fiction history. It was a nice treat, sort of like an unexpected dessert.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Cory Jacoby
  • 03-12-18

One of the best books ever!

I adore the Kennedy Family and have been following them since I was a little girl.

This book was so so well written and so detailed about Kit’s life — and I
Had never heard any of it before. I love Kerri’s writing style, her attention to detail and her friendly approach with her words. I left like I was listening to a friend tell me a story.

I know this is Kerry’s first book which makes me so happy because I can only imagine how many more great books she will write about either the Kennedy’s or another family she follows.

Thank you Kerri and Julia for this fantastic audio book. I literally can’t wait to tell every single person about this book!!!

Get busy Kerri!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Boston
  • 01-01-19

Good fictional account

I enjoyed the story, I think Kick was probably more wild than portrayed. Many young women of the 30’s were expressing independence and sexual freedom, even the good catholic girls. (According to my Irish Catholic grandmother and her sisters.)

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • 21-01-19

Incredibly well done.

I have read a number of books about the Kennedy family. I couldn’t imagine how this book would offer anything different. I was very pleasantly surprised to listen to this very well written and engaging story, The author does an excellent job of combining facts and fiction in a smooth and comprehensive manner. The narration could not have been better. I can’t wait to read more from this author and hear more from this narrator. I recommend this book highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Talia
  • 04-05-19

The pure historical revisionism herein...

The pure historical revisionism herein...is nothing short of pathetic. Joe Kennedy, along with a few of his family members- were notorious Jew haters. He was quite public and honest about it. As writers, you must be VERY careful, even when presenting historical fiction- to not be so close and yet so far from reality. It leads readers to believe that there is accuracy where there is none. As a Jew, I found this rewrite of my history infuriating and shameful. I'm sorry... for this alone, I will not recommend this book to anyone.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • @ntmc
  • 01-01-20

informative

very good. I knew nothing of this Kennedy daughter and it was enlightening to learn about her I love the format of a story vs a boring bio. it's like a peek into her life and world.

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  • Syd Young
  • 10-09-19

Real, Truthful, Wonderful

I really loved this book. It seemed real, truthful. About a new Kennedy whom I can really respect, while also giving a view to the rest we know so well. The issues and historical views were deftly handled, with devil’s advocates planted at just the right moments. I loved how the story progressed, the worlds that were shown to me, the brave young woman who did what she must in a world that had turned upside down. If only all women could be so brave; if only it hadn’t taken Kick so long. If you’ve missed this and want to read a book that matters and entertains, read this now.

Also, of course, the audio narration was fantastic.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-09-19

Excellent Read

Great historical fiction about Kick Kennedy. Couldn’t put the book down. Must read if you enjoy the 1940’s era.

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  • mrsgrz
  • 22-08-19

Interesting story of Kathleen Kennedy and family

Enjoyed story of this amazing woman. Learned a lot about the Kennedys and this little known woman. Great narration, interesting story

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  • Julie Ann
  • 02-08-19

I WANT MORE!!!

I absolutely fell in LOVE with this book and I’m begging the author to write more!

It’s so well written and captures the essence of one of the least known Kennedy’s, Kick. It starts out great and never stops.

Trust me and listen for yourself - You can thank me later!